It's been a while since we started stocking Solinco strings here at Holabird Sports, and some of their strings have ended up being really great sellers for us. With all the buzz and positive feedback I've been hearing, I decided it was past time to string my racquets up with some Solinco strings and hit the court for some hands-on testing. The folks at Solinco were kind enough to send us some sample sets of their strings along with a pair of their Heaven Crew Socks—which I liked quite a lot, incidentally. Socks aside, I've probably heard the most feedback about Solinco Tour Bite, so I figured Tour Bite 16L was a good place to start.
Surprisingly, installation was pretty easy, though stringing with polyester is always more challenging than installing softer strings. Tour Bite is definitely on the stiff side, but weaving it actually wasn't overly difficult even in the 18x20 string pattern of my Prince EXO3 Rebel 95. Fortunately, Tour Bite didn't leave my fingers hurting like many textured or geometric polyester strings do. I had no issues with coil memory and the string never tangled during installation, which is always a bonus when working with polyester. I strung the Tour Bite 16L at 50 pounds.
Playability was pretty solid, especially for a polyester string, but there's no getting around the fact that polyester strings are going to be stiff and less lively-feeling than multifilaments. My arm isn't particularly sensitive, but Tour Bite definitely feels less harsh and stiff than some of the other polyesters out there. Even so, I still wouldn't recommend Tour Bite—or any poly, for that matter—to someone with preexisting arm issues, but I found it to be forgiving for a polyester, especially when strung at a loose tension. Tour Bite offers good spin potential, but, like most polys, you'll need to be swinging fairly fast to maximize the benefit.
Tour Bite 16L held up very well for me, though the tight string pattern of my racquet means I don't break strings too quickly even though I hit a fairly heavy ball. Since polyester strings are especially durable they usually seem to end up feeling dead before I get close to breaking them. After around 15 or 16 hours of play with my set of Tour Bite, it is starting to notch and show wear, but it doesn't seem quite ready to break. It is, however, starting to feel a bit dead and doesn't seem to have the same crisp response as it did when freshly strung. The strings don't seem to be snapping back as well and at times the mains need to be pushed slightly back into position after playing a point. So, while they're still serviceable and might last another five or six hours, it's probably time for me to cut them out and replace them with a fresh set.
Along with very good durability, Tour Bite 16L maintains tension admirably—especially for a polyester string. It has definitely lost some tension over the course of the two and-a-half weeks I've used it, but the tension loss doesn't seem drastic at all when compared to a racquet that's been freshly strung at the same tension.
Personally, I think Solinco Tour Bite 16L is an excellent string that belongs near the top of the polyester pile—especially because of its very reasonable price. If you're shopping around for a go-to polyester this summer, you should definitely give Tour Bite a try. It works great as a standalone poly that's not too harsh on the arm or as part of a hybrid set up. While Tour Bite isn't the ideal string for folks with arm pain, if you string it up reasonably loose, it plays quite nicely for a polyester and offers plenty of spin potential and control for big hitters.
Try the Solinco Tour Bite 16L for yourself!